For Kassia: a bold and beautiful Byzantine poet

The love of adultery is a sin of man

Devised to ruin the goodness of woman,

It is a temptation that must accept

The full springs of your tears.

As you, who bring the rain to wash us clean,

And to make us fresh again,

Bow down to the sighs of my weeping heart.

You altered the realm of being

By your incomprehensible incarnation.

And now the followers of a desert seer

Dismiss your revelation as less than nothing:

Desire to kill all of us who proclaim

The risen Christ.


Your wisdom sits amongst the whores and robbers

Of port cities. Your beauty is a sunset reflected in the tired eyes

Of lovers who will not sell their soul no matter what the price.

I kiss your feet as if they were the feet of Eve last seen in Paradise.

Your devotees in Anatolia hide themselves away in fear

Of their sons being taken for Janissaries.


Who can count the depth of your mercy or the height of your wisdom

Displayed in your judgement of tone and word in your divine poetry?

Only you, Kassia, only you.


Kassia Byzantine hymns of the first female composer of the Occident -  YouTube


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